One week after the Packers had trouble stopping the New York Giants rushing attack, the task doesn’t get any easier this upcoming weekend against the Minnesota Vikings. “Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings roll into town Sunday, and the Packers expect they’ll be without defensive end C.J. Wilson, a cornerstone of their run defense,” writes Nancy Armour of the Associated Press. “That’s on top of the absences of Charles Woodson and, most likely, Clay Matthews.” Both Matthews and Wilson are very, very good players at stuffing the run. Without their services, the Packers will face an uphill battle. This is a matchup not to be taken lightly.
The good news regarding Clay Matthews is that he’s working with the strength and conditioning staff despite being sidelined. “In the first public sign that LB Clay Matthews is getting closer to a return from a pulled hamstring that has sidelined him for two games, Matthews took part in an extensive workout inside the Don Hutson Center while his teammates practiced,” writes Tom Silverstein at JSOnline. Matthews has not been ruled out of Sunday’s game, though head coach Mike McCarthy has said it would be a stretch for Matthews to play in the Vikings game.
Defensive lineman C.J. Wilson considers himself lucky that his injury isn’t worse. “When Giants guard Chris Snee rolled on his knee and then others piled on at the end of the first play from scrimmage on Sunday, Packers defensive end C.J. Wilson thought his season was over,” writes Rob Demovsky of the Press-Gazette. Like Clay Matthews, Wilson hasn’t been ruled out of Sunday’s game either. But it’s not looking as if he’ll play. The Packers are fine with B.J. Raji and Ryan Pickett in their base defense, but Jerel Worthy just hasn’t been cutting it. Either Mike Neal or Mike Daniels might be better options in the 3-4 without Wilson.
More on C.J. Wilson comes from ESPNMilwaukee.com.
No matter who suits up or who’s sitting on the bench for the Packers, they’ll still have to stop Vikings running back Adrian Peterson regardless. “Tackling the Minnesota Vikings future Hall of Fame running back can be as difficult as slowing down a runaway snow plow and few know that better than the Green Bay Packers, whose driveway he has cleared many times,” writes Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel. Peterson is in the midst of one of his best seasons ever with over 1,200 rushing yards this year.
Wide receiver Greg Jennings was a full participant at practice on Tuesday for the first time in weeks, and he doesn’t want to be held back on Sunday. “Obviously they’re probably going to err on the side of gradually implementing me in there,” Jennings is quoted as saying at JSOnline. “If I had a say, I would just say just let me go. I’m good. There’s no need for that.” The Packers rightfully should limit his snaps on Sunday so he doesn’t suffer from a fatigue injury. But there’s no reason that in a week or two that he can play as much as he normally would.
This week’s Packer Plus publication features articles on guard Evan Dietrich-Smith, the secondary’s ups and downs, former Packer Bill Forester, a preview of the Vikings game, a column on the Packers run game and Biever photography family.
Aaron Rodgers is avoiding turnovers, as Tyler Dunne of the Journal Sentinel writes.
The division-heavy schedule in December is touched upon at the Packers official website.
A column at AllGreenBayPackers.com calls the Packers “still damn good.”
The coaching staff is called upon to use common sense by Mike Vandermause of the Press-Gazette.
Packer Report looks at the Vikings’ Cover 2 defense.
Video: The crew at the Press-Gazette has their weekly Insiders video…
Brian Carriveau is the author of “It’s Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America,” a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and an editor at Cheesehead TV. To contact Brian, email firstname.lastname@example.org.